Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Break

This is my spring break week and even though the weather is more winter than spring, I am enjoying my time off. I'm doing some cleaning, furniture painting, crafting and decorating, and even some grandson sitting. I also started a project that I think I am going to regret - organizing the attic. I am going through boxes and trying to make sense of all the stuff that I can't bear to part with. You know - greeting cards, pictures, all the keepsakes of our family life. Right now I've got piles all over the upstairs bedroom. Why did I start this???

Anyway, the two cabinets above are samples of my painting. And I'm not done yet. This is all part of my new lighter color palette and I'm loving it! And it's a surprisingly inexpensive change. I have gotten rid of a lot of my old darker country decor, but haven't bought much to replace it. I'm bringing some of my garden accents inside, such as the terrarium and nest in the first picture. It's fun to find different uses for things we already have.

Since I don't have to rush to get dinner on the table, I'm enjoying cooking this week. Today I made french onion soup and sandwiches, which we decided tasted every bit as good as going to a deli. Yesterday I made a sausage quiche. Yum! 

There is a little bit of green coming up in the garden and we have 70's in the forecast. (After school starts!) I can't wait to get out there and clean up the winter debris. And then the fun begins!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Birthday and a Family Announcement

Another birthday come and gone. But 59?! That's an old person. And I don't feel old most of the time - only when I've spent the day cleaning, or gardening, or walking, or... well, you get the idea!

But I had a wonderful birthday. First, I was surprised at work with a bouquet of flowers from my sweetie. And all day long the kindergarteners hugged me and said "Happy birthday, Mrs. Marquis".  Andrew, Tad, and Eric were here for dinner - my favorite, spaghetti and meatballs that Rick made and cheesecake for dessert. Andrew gave me a sweet almond bush for the garden, Eric gave me chocolates, and Justin called from DC and we had a good, long chat. (I'm really missing my oldest. We'll see him in May.)

I told Rick not to buy me anything for my birthday. I had just gone to a rubberstamp convention a week ago and bought many presents for myself:) So I wasn't expecting anything and then he brought out this:

A very cool vintage stamping set that he picked up at his favorite salvage place. I love it! The font is great and in a very good size. There is a label inside the cover of a local business that has been here forever. That makes it even more special. I'm not sure where I will display it yet, but I know I will get a lot of use out of it.

And now for the announcement. Alison didn't come for my birthday dinner because she was sick - with morning sickness! Yes, we are getting another grandbaby! We are so excited and happy for them. She is due the end of August. But Alison is having a hard time with this pregnancy. The baby is fine, but she is just not feeling well - headaches and very tired. Please send good thoughts their way!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Organizing Crafts

Sorry I've been such a bad blogger. I have no good excuse:) But I'm back, and hopefully with spring coming, I'll be more inspired to post.

I have been very busy though. I needed to be to get through this long, cold winter. I'm still working on my star quilt and will show photos soon. I've been scrapbooking, card making, knitting, and painting some furniture pieces. I've also been organizing my craft room and coming up with new ways to store my ever growing stash of goodies.

One thing that takes up so much space are these punches. I still use them, especially the MS and SU ones. I looked online and got this idea to use curtain rods on the back of a closet. They fit very well here and aren't taking up valuable drawer or shelf space.

Another thing I did this winter was gather up all my small crafting embellishments together and organize them in a vintage type drawer. I had these things stored all over in boxes, baskets, and baggies. And I just wasn't using them because they were out of sight.

 As you can see, I've got just about everything in here - game pieces, watch parts, tiny shells... on and on! I love to collect these little things and now I can see them, enjoy them, and maybe even use them in my crafting.

Something else that I collect is buttons. I have a ton already, so at this point I'm picky about how much I'm willing to spend on them. Rick and I went to an antique mall and I found a bag of buttons that I had to buy. $6.00 for this big bag of pretty vintage buttons!

Aren't they pretty? I love the old button cards with sweet graphics. I haven't had a chance to sort through them, but I'm sure I got a good deal.

So I just heard the weather report for tomorrow and we're actually going to see 50 degrees. A heat wave!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Homemade Flowers


Even though I've been absent from my blog, I have been busy crafting. (No surprise, right?)  I'm still working on the star quilt and have finished another scarf. I've been doing some paper crafting and getting caught up on scrapping our photos. Also lots of organizing and reading. It helps pass the time during this very long, cold winter.

I've also gotten kind of addicted to watching YouTube crafting and organizing videos. I even found one hilarious video about how YouTube makes this woman want to buy everything she sees. It's so true! I have put in a few orders for paper, stencils and other goodies. But I am trying to be good and watch videos on how to make your own embellishments, such as the flowers above. They were so easy to make and I love how they turned out. I used dies from Papertrey Ink, cardstock and Glossy Accents for adhesive. I just cut out several blooms of each size, spritzed them with water and crumpled them up. I then dried them with the heat gun and gently unfolded them a little bit, layering them up with glue in the middle. Easy, peasy! I used two different colors for each blossom, but I'm going to try doing some inking and misting for different looks. If you like to do card making or scrapbooking, give these a try.

These were made with a different die set.

Look who I saw outside the kitchen window the other day. I always get excited about the first robin of the spring, but I've never seen one this early. We have some robins that over-winter on the Purdue campus, so maybe this is one of those that got lost. So, do I count it as an extra early robin and believe that spring is right around the corner? (Despite what Phil said:) I think I will!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Little Knitting

As is the case for many crafters, I feel the need to work with some yarn when the weather is cold. It just feels good and kind of warm to the touch, especially when using a nice yarn such as this Patons Silk and Bamboo.

For the past couple of years I have been doing some crochet, but this time I wanted to break out my  knitting needles. Years ago, when I was single and then when the kids were young, I did quite a bit of knitting. I made lots of sweaters and even a complex snowflake sweater for Rick. But other crafts took the place of knitting and except for a few dishcloths I haven't done any for about 25 years.

I have been saving a few knitting patterns on Pinterest and thought this lacy scarf  (http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/freeKnittingPatternTaoSilkScarf.asp  would be a good thing to start with. Well, it probably wasn't the best to start with as I made many, many mistakes! But I finally got used to the pattern and really enjoyed it. I went back to JoAnn's today and got some more yarn to make another one. (Their yarn was still 25% off.) After this I may try an easy sweater, maybe something for little Tad.

After JoAnn's I went to Michaels to see what was new. I couldn't believe what I found in the dollar bins - tons of paper flowers, pearls, and ribbon, all in pretty spring colors. Also spools of baker's twine in several colors. I'm afraid I spent more than I had planned!

I now work at an elementary school as a paraprofessional, one-on-one with a little girl with autism. We were supposed to go back on Tuesday, but because of the weather we still haven't started. I think we go tomorrow with a two hour delay. I have been enjoying my time off, but I'm ready to get back to work (and make some money to pay for my habit:)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Making Merry

Rick gets to put toys together again!
 We had three wonderful days of celebrating. On Christmas, the kids came over in the afternoon to open presents and have dinner. It was so much fun watching Tad open his gifts and play with his new trike. He does this little happy dance that just cracks me up! He is so darn cute!

We got these HexBots that are little robotic insects. They are so creepy, like something from a scifi movie. Tad enjoyed having Eric scare him with them, calling them "monstrous nightmares" (I think he got that from some movie:) I did end up having a spider nightmare that night!

On Friday we went over to friends' house for dinner and Trivial Pursuit. Good food and lots of laughs! Then on Saturday we had Christmas with my niece and her family. Again we ate and ate, but the weather was so nice we took a hike at a nearby nature center. It was great to be out in the fresh air, talking and looking at the trees and pond.

Except for missing Justin, we had a really nice Christmas. Since I'm working at a school now I get two weeks off. Another week to go! I hope to get a lot of crafting done. And I suppose I should take down the tree and decorations. Don't much like that job, do you?

Anyway, I wanted to show this one gift I made for our son Andrew. He is such a nature lover like I am, so when I saw this pattern on Pinterest, I knew I would have to make it for him.

I don't do much of this type of embroidery, but I should because I really enjoy it. I just have too many hobbies and there is not time to do everything I want to do!

Because this year hasn't been the easiest for our family, I am looking forward to the new year and all the hope that it brings. I'm wishing the best for all of my readers too. Happy New year!